Money got really tight for us around Christmas time. We put a few gift purchases on our credit cards, and fully expected that when our tax refund came, we would pay down our credit card bills and put a little money in the bank, and start with a positive financial momentum in 2008.
Trouble was, we came up owing almost $1,000 on our taxes. I re-did the numbers twice, and yet Turbo Tax was insistent: we owed the IRS money we didn’t have.
So much for a positive momentum…
But then it got worse.
I was working like a dog at the time, and fully expecting to get a raise that I was up for in December. At our company, raises will often come a couple of months late, but they’re usually retroactive to whenever you were eligible. So when I sat down in my manager’s office in March, I was expecting to get a good raise that would be retroactive to mid-December. Or in other words, I thought for sure that God would use this to help us pay our tax debt by the looming deadline.
But that’s not what happened.
I got the raise I expected, but my manager told me that it wouldn’t be retroactive. I was kind of puzzled, and I asked if I was being punished for something. He said that I wasn’t. That I was doing a great job, and something along the lines of “this is just how we’re doing it.”
That left me pretty discouraged.
So we put our tax debt on a credit card. So much for paying that thing down…
And then my brakes went out. So I put those on the credit card.
And then our home owner’s association dues came. Can’t pay those on a credit card, so I paid some other bills on a credit card so we could write a check for that.
And I started to carry some serious anxiety, and thought that surely if I trusted the Lord through this and was obedient He would come through in some supernatural way.
That’s about the time we got a bill for our baby. No, you’re right — the baby hasn’t been born yet. It was actually only 10 weeks in the womb when we got our bill. The doctor’s office informed us that they had negotiated with our insurance, and our portion of the cost would be about $2,000. We could feel free to bring it to our next appointment in 2 weeks.
At this point, I was pretty discouraged.
I was more than discouraged.
I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.
1/3 of the year down, and we have spent more than we’ve made just about every week. Way to go, Zack. Don’t you deserve the ‘Provider of the Year’ award…
Then May rolled around. I got an extra paycheck in May, because I get payed every two weeks, which means that I get two paychecks a year that don’t fall into the ‘twice a month’ pattern.
Then, a week later, we got our tax rebate check.
Just like that, $3,000 that our budget wasn’t counting on. And God gave us some room to breathe.
But that’s not all that happened.
I got a call from a recruiter who asked me if I was interested in a job. This is important because I didn’t apply for anything (except a couple spots at SAS, but that’s another story). I didn’t put my resume on anything but this blog right here. Not on Monster or JobFinder or anything else.
He couldn’t explain where he got my resume except that it turned up in his database.
As it turned out, the position he described was a somewhat unstable, contractor position that seemed like a bad idea with a baby coming.
So I turned it down.
And asked God to stop teasing me.
But then he called back and asked if I would be interested in taking the same position as a full-time salary position. Good pay, but I’d have to commute to Greensboro.
Gas is $4 a gallon. And I have a baby coming.
“No thanks.” Hang up. “God, please stop teasing me!”
A week goes by and he calls back again. “What if you could have the same job, but work from Raleigh?”
So I drove all the way to Greensboro to interview… for 4 hours.
Came home, and waited for the call.
For three weeks.
“God, this really isn’t funny. I’ll gladly keep the situation I’m in, but please stop teasing me.”
But He wasn’t. The call came last week.
To be continued…